The Mindful Money Manifesto – your views welcome

10th June 2013

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At Mindful Money, we aspire to be more than simply a website that offers you news, advice and useful articles to help you manage your money. We also believe that we need to set out the case for why we are doing this, the principles we will abide by and, of course, what our commercial rationale is as well. To this end we have created the Mindful Money Manifesto below and six principles governing the site. The following is very close to what we want to achieve but is not set in stone yet. We would also like to hear your views and opinions so please email the editor@mindfulmoney.co.uk with any of your thoughts.

The Mindful Manifesto

Mindful Money is the website for investors who want to understand and get control of their finances, take an active interest in their investments and understand the economic context behind it all.

The site is founded on the belief that people who invest, save and insure themselves are much more financially resilient and to this end we want to equip them with information, ideas and guidance to help them engage better with their finances and financial services products and services – and therefore engage better with the providers of those products and services.

As far as possible, we also want to help people understand what is going on in the world, economically and financially.

We view our task as identifying what really matters, analysing the stories behind the headlines, while discovering new sources of information and ideas that may challenge established and conventional ways of thinking.

We will also consider the practical implications of the news, helping readers to manage their investments better and to challenge and engage with their professional advisers more effectively through written articles, social media and webcasts.

In terms of business model, Mindful Money will be financed through a mixture of advertising and sponsorship. Those organisations supporting the site will be able to engage directly with their target audiences via articles, forums, videos, podcasts, newsletters and bespoke emails, ensuring that the six principles of the site (see below) are always followed.

One of our primary aims will be to foster and facilitate better communication between investors, advisers and sponsoring fund management and financial services groups. We hope that such a three-way discussion will help all three groups better understand each others’ needs, expectations and concerns in light of the host of challenges investors now face.

There are several big issues, trends and themes that will help inform our news and analysis, two specific to the UK, and several more with a universal appeal.

The first is the reform of how financial advice is delivered and paid for in the UK with the Retail Distribution Review which was implemented on 1st January 2013.

Although it is arguably too early to establish exactly what the impact of the RDR will be, it is likely that some and maybe many people will no longer pay for the services of an adviser or that they may do so only occasionally.

We would like to help equip those people who decide to manage their own investments with as much information as possible. However, we are not aiming to replace financial advisers, so we will continue to send the message that getting help from a good financial planner is often in people’s best interests.

That is why Mindful Money will frequently give a platform to established financial advisers to talk about planning issues and the benefits of advice, while also helping readers who want to do more themselves.

The second big domestic issue is pension auto-enrolment. Many people will be defaulted into a workplace pension unless they decide to opt out actively. The system has the benefit of using inertia to increase retirement savings levels, but it will also rely on employees not paying too much attention to what is happening. Mindful Money is not convinced the system will work unless people are engaged with what is happening and have an understanding of where and how their money is invested. We think we can help meet this information need for both employees and employers.

Turning to more universal matters, it is very clear that people in general and even some reasonably experienced investors are overwhelmed with information. It would be very easy to be confused about the economic situation, while the financial crisis has seen trust in the financial world fall to record lows. At the same time, social media and the internet means that we are now more connected than ever.

Explanations do exist. It may just be a matter of sifting relevant and informative sources from the rest and bringing these to our readers’ attention and so this is what we intend to do.

That is why Mindful Money features such free thinking economists as Shaun Richards among our expert bloggers who will challenge the prevailing opinions of the day. It also provides intelligent news aggregation through the Financialist and the finance blogs micro-sites. We will bring you the best of the blogosphere, particular from the US, where there is a thriving network of economic and market analysis and opinion on independent websites, a source of intelligence that often goes untapped or unnoticed in the UK.

We will also consider how trust may be re-established in financial services – though only where it is deserved – because without trust, the risk is that people do nothing. Doing nothing is a different kind of consumer detriment but it is detriment none the less.

Additionally, we will aim to foster a thoughtful discussion about sustainable investment and climate change. Investors of all shades of green and maybe none will increasingly want to understand the impact climate change could have on portfolios and indeed its significance for the UK’s energy policy and growth prospects. One global pension consultancy Mercer has warned of a big impact on portfolios in the next two decades and recommended that its big corporate and institutional clients consider amending their asset allocations as result. We think individual investors need to be informed of the arguments and we hope to have a grown up debate about this.

But we will also campaign on issues of great concern to savers and investors and will ask readers’ help in establishing what our campaigning priorities should be.

Finally, we promise to pay close attention to sponsors’ views and opinions and incorporate them into the website’s content and thinking.

These are ambitious goals and we may not meet them all in the next few months. But we hope you come on a journey with us to make Mindful Money the investor’s website of choice.

Mindful Money’s six governing principles

To bring investors and savers news, analysis and information to help them stay better informed and understand the real stories and motivations behind the financial and economic news headlines.

To equip investors and savers with practical information whether they decide to seek out financial advice or to manage their own investments in the light of the new retail and pension reforms.

To challenge established thinking and find new sources of thought and analysis about finance and economics from around the world.

To be completely transparent about all commercial relationships with advertisers and sponsors.

To encourage people to save, invest and insure their income.

To seek to re-establish trust between financial services firms and the public but only where this is justified.

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